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I know what you’re about to say like your hype man October 12, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, conversation, digital strategy, marketing.
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I was going to spend the week talking about story-telling in interactive mediums and the ways brands can leverage it, and I’l get to that, but I’ve woken up with something on my mind that I want to get to first.

Over the weekend when not lying in the park or dining with friends I was working on my latest (overdue) column for Marketing Magazine. It will be out in their December/January issue and I was talking about brands finding their voice online, which I’m quite excited about, I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts when it comes out.

I feel though like that’s the running part, and we’re struggling to get the walking right; we’re doing that because the fundamentals of success in business and marketing are shifting and we’re not keeping pace with it. I harp on about it, but only because I think it is important enough to do so: intent. Intent, intent, intent, intent, intent, intent, intent, intent.

While you’re at your desk this week, in each situation I want you to ask yourself “What’s my intent here?”. We make sales calls under the guise of building relationships, we dump on other agencies under the guise of offering advice. We put energy into things that distract us from our main purpose in the hopes that people won’t really get what we’re on about.

And then we go do it with the brands we’re supposed to be building.

Let’s all agree, week beginning Monday October 13th, 2008 to gut-check what the intent is in the work we do this week. Let’s not discuss “new ways to talk to our customers” when the reality is we need email addresses added to a database. By stripping away the stuff we cloak our actions with, we get to the heart of the matter much faster.

And I promise, the campaigns you run are going to be all the more effective for it.

Image courtesy of The Alieness Gisela Giardino, with thanks to compfight.

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One bourbon, one scotch, one beer August 23, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, conversation, marketing, social media, strategy, web 2.0.
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Julian Cole and I have been going back and forth a bit lately on social objects offline and some of that chatter is making its way online. He put up a vlog yesterday which Scott from Marketing Magazine chimed in on. Not wanting to be left out, I added my 2 cents. I hadn’t actually uploaded anything to YouTube before, brought back some of the initial terrors that come with blogging (the world will see this, oh no!).

Anyway, the videos are below. Watch them (Scott’s alone is priceless for the shots of his afro, little children may turn away in fear, you’ve been warned) and then leave a comment, or better yet, add your own response! While you’re at it, give Julian some stick for the video responses needing to be approved by the owner – Jules I thought the whole point of social media was acknowledging you couldn’t control the conversation right!?! 🙂

As she rises to her apology August 11, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in conversation, digital strategy, intent, social media, web 2.0.
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Somewhere early Sunday morning (sober, I swear Mum!) I was talking to a friend about intent, and the revelation of intent through actions. She suggested action wasn’t enough, that consistency was required. Consistency then perhaps becomes the actual revealer of intent – or at least of priorities.

You can have the best intentions in the world, but your priorities will always one-up you with a slow reveal (or sometimes not so slow) of what your true intentions were.

This is no where more prevalent than corporate intrusion into social media spaces, where increased sales is the intent, revealed by the lack of consistency (which itself a form of consistency I suppose). I’ve actually been talking clients down from the social media ledge recently on account of so many other aspects of their online being fundamentally flawed. I’m always amazed at an organisation’s willingness to drop $50,000 on a “viral” campaign while being happy to ignore things that are fundamentally wrong with their main website.

The fact is we used to call social media “community management”, and much the same way that had a dedicated employee playing that role, social media requires the same. Companies who want to get involved have to ask themselves how much they want to get involved, and how much they’re willing to invest in it. It will only work if you are consistent, you can only be consistent if it is somebody’s job to handle every day.

If you’re not willing to hire someone to do the day-to-day on your organisation’s social media, to deliver consistency, you need to pick a different game to play.

Tomorrow we’ll look at why the barrier to entry is more than a 30-second spot (and why that’s a good thing).

Image courtesy of spud murphy, with thanks to compfight.

The Revelation of Intent July 10, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing.
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My latest column is up over at Marketing Magazine’s site. I said a couple days ago I was thinking a lot about intent this week, call it a cosmic quest for something deeper than the window dressing. If I wasn’t in advertising, that would actually be a good thing.

There’s a lot of talk lately about brands and the voices they speak with. Be it through products or services, conversation is the new currency through which everyone wants to be measured. If what we’ve been saying for a while now is true, and our brands are to be imbued with human traits and personalities in order to inform the way they speak to their audience, then we need to look at intent…

The rest of the piece is over at Marketing Magazine.

We eagerly await the opportunity to ignore you July 8, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing.
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We eagerly await our chance to ignore you

  • If you tell me you are an expert, I will not seek your advice, let alone believe you.
  • If you tell me your product will change my life I will not believe you.
  • If you tell me your service is the best thing since sliced bread, I will munch on my sandwich thinking “All in all I have it pretty good” and not budge an inch.

If however, a friend of mine tells me you’re an expert, have a product that will change my life, and a service that is the best thing since sliced bread, you will have my attention.

You are not what you say you are (even if you are). Nor is your product, offering or service. It is what others say it is via their experience interacting with you. The web unearths intent, and people strip away the bullshit.

Intent is a funny thing, I’m thinking a lot about that this week. Having said that, I intend to get over this cold, so I’m going to bed.

Image courtesy of Skate Everything, with thanks to compfight.